Wednesday newspaper round-up: Energy bills support, prepayment meters, financial ombudsman

By Michele Maatouk

The Treasury has performed a U-turn on a planned cut to energy support for households after warnings that it would plunge many thousands more families into poverty. In an announcement on the morning of the chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget speech, the government confirmed that the energy price guarantee would continue at its current rate, which limits a typical annual household bill to £2,500. It is being extended from April, when it was due to expire, for a further three months until the end of June. – Guardian
A ban on the forced installation of prepayment meters by energy companies has been extended beyond the end of March, Ofgem has said. The energy regulator’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, told MPs that suppliers would not resume the installations until a code of practice was published and Ofgem was satisfied it was being adhered to. – Guardian

Saudi Arabia is to spend £30bn on a fleet of 72 Boeing jets as it seeks to dominate the Gulf with a new airline. Riyadh Air, launched on Sunday, has agreed to buy the Dreamliners in the plane maker’s fifth biggest order of all time amid a scramble to eclipse neighbouring flag carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad. – Telegraph

About 13,000 complaints made to the financial ombudsman have not been resolved after more than a year, the head of the service told MPs, as she admitted there is “more we could do to bring that number down”. Abby Thomas, who joined the Financial Ombudsman service six months ago as its chief executive and chief ombudsman, told an influential cross-party committee of MPs that 7,500 of the cases are subject to legal proceedings or have had to be put on hold because the companies involved have gone into administration. – The Times

Tesco’s imposition of fees for online suppliers has led to widespread calls for a referral to the grocery regulator. The UK’s largest supermarket wrote to suppliers last week informing them it would be introducing Amazon-style fulfilment fees on all products sold on its UK and Ireland websites and app. – The Times

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